Thu, May 05, 2011 - Page 11 News List

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Staff Writer, with Agencies

Chimei shares hit two-year low

Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子), the nation’s largest LCD panel maker, saw its shares fall to the lowest in more than two years yesterday, after it posted a first-quarter loss that was wider than analysts’ estimates.

The stock declined 2.4 percent to NT$28.30, the lowest since March 3, 2009. Chimei Innolux has slumped 30 percent this year, compared with the 0.3 percent drop in the benchmark TAIEX.

The first-quarter net loss was NT$13.8 billion (US$483 million), the company said on Tuesday. Revenue was NT$124 billion, 4.6 percent lower than the prior three-month period, the company said.

Chimei Innolux’s stock rating was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The brokerage reduced its share-price estimate to NT$34 from NT$41, the report said.

Taiwan’s panel makers face challenges including a longer learning curve for new products, while a fragmented product mix and customer base make operations less efficient, according to the report.

Daiwa releases MediaTek note

Daiwa Securities said yesterday that it expects integrated circuit (IC) designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) to enjoy an improvement in its gross margin as cellphone chip prices in China stabilize.

In a research note, the securities company said an increase in shipments of MediaTek’s advanced cellphone chip, which it launched in February, is expected to further boost the company’s gross margin to 47 percent for this year and to 50 percent next year.

In the first quarter of this year, MediaTek’s gross margin fell 3 percentage points from the fourth quarter of last year to 46.2 percent amid fierce price competition in the handset chip market in China.

Daiwa Securities also raised its target price on MediaTek from NT$260 to NT$360, which represented a 4.65 percent upside from the stock’s closing price of NT$344 on the local bourse yesterday.

Tsann Kuen reports income rise

Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co (燦坤實業), a major Taiwan-based chain retailer of consumer electronics products and home appliances, said yesterday its pre-tax net income last month rose significantly from a year earlier as sales of high-margin items were strong.

Tsann Kuen’s pre-tax income last month rose 51.67 percent year-on-year to NT$93 million (US$3.24 million), or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$0.55, despite a 7.95 percent fall in sales from a year earlier to NT$2.394 billion.

The company attributed the improved profit picture to stronger sales of high-margin items and lower energy costs.

For the first four months of the year, Tsann Kuen’s sales were down 1.39 percent from a year earlier at NT$9.552 billion, but pre-tax net income rose 10.84 percent to NT$465 million, or EPS of NT$2.78.

Powerchip’s revenues up 1%

Powerchip Technology Corp (力晶科技), the nation’s No. 2 DRAM chip supplier, yesterday said revenue grew 1 percent to NT$4.03 billion last month from NT$4.01 billion the previous month.

Powerchip spokesman Eric Tan (譚仲民) attributed the monthly sales increase to the stable DRAM market.

Tan said the company planned to start making DRAM chips used in mobile phones at the end of this year using technology from its Japanese partner, Elpida Memory Inc.

NT dollar inches higher

The New Taiwan dollar rose against the US dollar yesterday, adding NT$0.032 to close at NT$28.670. The NT dollar touched NT$28.508 on Tuesday, its strongest level since October 1997.

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